Mumbai, 15 June 2016: The international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) together with the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) today inaugurated a new tuberculosis (TB) outpatients department (OPD) at MMM Shatabdi hospital in M/East ward, Mumbai. This new partnership has the aim of reducing the morbidity, mortality and transmission of TB and drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in one of the highest burden wards in Mumbai.
“The National RNTCP programme rolled out DST guided treatment guidelines in March 2016. MCGM has already rolled out DST guided treatment in 7 Districts of the city in ‘A to G’ wards since June 16. It will be extended to other parts of the city in a phase wise manner. Working in partnership with MSF will facilitate the rollout in Govandi area and offer treatment as per latest guidelines in addition to supporting early case detection.” said Dr. Daksha Shah, Mumbai’s City TB Officer.
The new OPD consists of four container units comprising of consultation rooms, counseling rooms and microscopy lab. It is situated on a separate site within the hospital compound and provides optimal conditions for infection control. Activities in this new OPD will improve early case detection and diagnosis of TB and DR-TB. All presumptive TB cases will be tested with GeneXpert – a rapid diagnostic test which detects Mycobacterium tuberculosis and resistance to drugs such as rifampicin in less than two hours. Patients detected with DR-TB will receive first- and second line drug susceptibility testing (DST) for 13 drugs which will assist in differentiating between the different types of DR-TB. The treatment regimen for such patients will then be adapted according to their DST results. Patients will also be given psychosocial support during the course of their treatment. All services are free of charge.
“The process of introducing DST guided treatment regimens in Mumbai needs to be accelerated” said Becky Welfare, MSF’s Project Coordinator in Mumbai. ”Early case detection and access to effective treatment is key to controlling tuberculosis in the community. Partnering with the RNTCP/ MCGM in M/East ward is a unique opportunity to demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of this model and to provide better care to patients.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international, medical, humanitarian organisation providing free, high-quality medical assistance to vulnerable populations affected by conflicts, emergencies or disasters, be they natural or manmade. MSF was founded in 1971 and has since then grown to become a worldwide organisation with medical activities in nearly 70 countries. In 1996, MSF was awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development. In 1999 it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1999, MSF was invited by the RNTCP to implement a TB project in cooperation with the Bombay Municipal Cooperation. The project was handed over to local authorities in 2005. Since 2006, MSF has been running an independent clinic in Mumbai. The facility provides ambulatory medical and psychosocial care for patients infected with HIV, DR-TB and Hepatitis B & C, who require treatment regimens which are not currently available in the public sector. Memorandum of Understanding between MSF and the Public Health Department of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) was signed in October 2015.
For further information and interview requests, contact Siddhesh Gunandekar, MSF Mumbai Advocacy and Communication Manager, Mobile: +91 70459 34417, email: email@example.com